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Defining Quality

Hospitals use several widely accepted definitions to describe healthcare quality.


  • Quality hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission (JC). JC accreditation is a nationwide symbol of quality. Baystate Health hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission.
  • Quality physicians are board certified in their specialties.

Research and Education

Patient Health Outcomes

Quality hospitals have a positive record of patient health outcomes, such as, how often the hospital performs a given procedure. Higher volumes result in more favorable:

  • Mortality rates
  • Complication rates
  • Average lengths of stay

Patient Safety

Patient Safety includes interventions put in place to reduce preventable mistakes:

  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system to order medications, tests and procedures more effectively and accurately.
  • ICU Staffing an intensive care unit staffed by intensivists, doctors and other caregivers with special training in critical care.
  • Evidence Based Hospital Referral—a record of the most experience and best results performing procedures and surgeries or treating conditions. Medical literature shows the more experience the doctor or hospital has performing a given procedure, the better the results.